Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Things I Love:

Meddling strangers at the grocery store.

I recently took the trip from hell to Super One in Kenwood. And let's be honest, most any trip by yourself with three tiny kids sucks, but this one was Extra rotten. It started out ok, except for my already foul mood. We grabbed one of the car carts and I thought my kiddos would be so delighted with the novelty that this quick trip would go off without a hitch. What a novel idea. I made my way through the produce section without incident. As we round the refrigerated juice corner, a woman stops me to tell me that I have "the most gorgeous children." Why thank you! You can have one if you'd like. Another woman standing nearby echoes lady #1's sentiment and proceeds to follow me through the store and comment on their remarkable beauty every other aisle or so.

By now Greyson and Tuesday have heard how beautiful they are enough times to feel that any behavior is darling and thus acceptable. Including but not limited to: jumping in and out of the cart, running away from the mom, pulling one another's hair, emptying shelves on the floor - glass jars in particular, and loudly sharing all the hilarious potty vocabularly recently learned from friends. Awesome. My specially formulated, for-public-use-only Rage Whisper is rapidly becoming an out-loud, constant reprimand that borders on out-and-out hysteria. I'm moments away from my own Mom Tantrum so I give up and race through the store, running over customers and my children alike in order to grab the items we absolutely have to have.

By the time we make it out to the car, in true Duluth fashion, it is at least 30 degrees warmer than when we went in the store and the humidity has risen to 400%. My wool sweater immediately sticks to my body and threatens to shrink and fuse to my skin. I rip my sweater off and race to the car, (praying that I rememered to put a bra on under my tank top) Grey with a leg hanging out the door of the car cart and Tuesday doing her level best to jump ship. Fynn is bawling but he's strapped in so he doesn't matter right now.

Grey hops out of the cart and the magnetic force of a giant puddle pulls him in, causing him to lose his mind and jump in with his brand new tennis shoes. While I'm yelling at him and trying to rangle him into the car, now soaking wet, Tuesday escapes and runs out into traffic, laughing maniacally and enjoying her freedom and ability to make her mother shoot fire out of her eyes. I slam the door on Grey and race to grab Tuesday, screaming about roads and cars and danger and "SQUISH YOU LIKE A BUG" and stuff her into the car. Meanwhile, my giant cart rolls into the middle of the road, Fynn still strapped in and bawling, and a nice gentleman gives me a dirty look and kicks at the cart to change its' path, lest it crash into his Buick.

My blood pressure is approximately 300/220 and I can feel a stroke in my very near future. With the groceries and Fynn safely in the car I go back to strap in the big ones, by now hysterical with the injustice of life as a child. Much shoving and stuffing commence as they pull out the trademark Flex Move, the one where their butt comes all the way up and out of the seat, rendering the strap-buckling impossible. About an hour later I have all three buckled, bawling and ready to get the hell out of there. My hair is sticking to my face, I'm sweaty and my eyes are bugging out of my head, pulsing in time with my blood pressure - imagine The Hulk, minus the greenish hue.

And it just gets better. The woman parked next to us has slammed both of my car doors in order to get by and is chain smoking with the windows rolled up in her truck, just enjoying the show. When I get the last door shut after my wrestling match with my kids, she rolls down the window, allowing me to share in her quest for emphysema, and holds out two suckers.

"Hey, can your kids have these?"
"No, they can't. But thanks." How cliche is that? Strangers offering candy? I mean, really...
"Well, they sure don't look very happy."

Yep, they aren't very happy. 'Cause I'm a horrible parent. And I thought I could get through Super One before lunch. By myself. With all three kids. And a car cart.

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